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Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Summer 2021Newsletter

MPS SUMMER Newsletter 4/2021
President: Kathleen Risk
Treasurer: Helen Wood
Recording Secretary: Lyn Laviana
Corresponding Secretary: Joyce Turk
Membership: Carol Hobday
Signature Membership: Mary Moores
Workshops: Susan Van Eseltine
Exhibitions: Open
Shades of Pastel Exhibit: Denise Matuk-Krupa
Facebook: Laurie Basham
Website: Kathleen Risk
Newsletter: Kim Stone
Advisory: Joyce Lister
Jul 10: Summer Members Meeting / Zoom
Sep 18: Board Meeting / Zoom
Oct 13—15: Workshop with Tara Will / in-person
Oct 16: Fall Members Meeting / in-person
Dec 18:Board Meeting / Zoom
Hello, everyone. We are pleased to have each and every member who chose to be part of our Society. Our aim is to provide educational opportunities for artists and the public through the MPS website, lectures, art demonstrations, workshops, and art exhibitions. To that end, it is imperative that members feel a responsibility to volunteer at some point to serve either on or with the Board of Directors, who arrange activities we all enjoy.
We have an URGENT NEED for a Vice President to assist the President and an Exhibition Chairperson, if we want to continue having two MPS exhibitions a year. We also need help now for SOP Chairperson Denise Matuk-Krupa in soliciting merchandise and/or monetary awards from art suppliers and other businesses for “Shades of Pastel,” our biennial, national, juried exhibition.
Volunteering does not necessarily mean a formal position on the Board. Help is needed with various tasks from aiding with intake for a show to organizing lists of new members. Help us continue to maintain the oldest non-profit State Pastel Society in the country. Contact me at or 443-388-2373 with comments, questions or to volunteer.
I’m excited to tell you about our next General Membership meeting on Zoom to be held Saturday, July 10th at 10 a.m. with a demo by the talented artist, Karen Margulis. This will be our last Zoom meeting of the year. Among other things, Karen will address elements from “Principles of Design.” Find this listing on our website menu Membership/Applying for Signature Membership or click here. As usual, we will invite questions and comments from our audience during Karen’s demonstration.
And here's some good news. Mark your calendars now! On Saturday, October 16th, our General Members meeting will be held once again in person at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center starting an hour early for the first meeting back—11 a.m. We will once again be able to share our artwork and good conversation with like minded pastel artists and enjoy a demonstration with an in-person master artist.
Have a great summer,
Kathleen Risk
OUR FEATURED ARTIST - Michael Gaudreau
"Quiet Waters"
Michael Gaudreau, a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, and the Maryland Pastel Society, is a painter and retired art teacher residing in Bel Air, Md. Michael received his undergraduate degree in Art Education from Towson University in 1974 and his master’s degree from Parsons School of Design, NYC in 1981. He has won awards from the Pastel Society of America, the Connecticut Pastel Society, both the Southeast and Northeast Pastel Societies, as well as the Hudson Valley Art Association and the Maryland Federation of Art.
"I have been a painter for many years, primarily in oils, with a focus on the landscape. My first love, ever since elementary school, was always drawing. I rediscovered this love some years ago when I took a pastel workshop for teachers. I found something extremely exciting and liberating about touching the surface of the paper with a piece of solid color, building up surfaces and taking away, scumbling colors and letting under layers show through, and overseeing a vast choice of pastels in a tray. I found great freedom in letting my hand drag those wonderful soft pastels across a colored, sanded surface. The pastel artist paints with almost pure pigment with no mixing or mediums.
I am drawn to the landscape as a subject not only for artistic possibilities, but for the memories evoked and the sense of joy it gives me by just being there."
"Spirit Tree"
"I grew up around water and woods and I find myself at peace when I can totally immerse myself in studying light and shadow and surprising bursts of color in the rural landscape."
"I am drawn especially to the quality of light in the early morning and dusk and how it transforms and illuminates ordinary things and turns them into something extraordinary. When I look for subjects to paint, I seek that 'moment of light' on the side of a building or on the forest floor as I listen to the sound of water and wind. But peaceful does not always mean easy. Painters know that it can be hard work capturing the emotional response they want. Light is always moving. Decisions are constantly being made. So how do I keep that outdoor energy in studio work? I need to ask myself, 'How realistic do I want it to be? Why am I painting this subject? What is this painting about? What kind of marks am I making?' And even, 'What colors do I see in that white cloud?' or 'What color is that shadow?' I often like to compare the act of painting to fishing. Sometimes you catch the fish and sometimes it gets away, but what is important is being out there."
"Johns Brook Afternoon"
"Even when I work from reference photos and sketches it still brings me back to the moment I was standing by that stream or on that mountain. That is the feeling I hope to convey in my work." Visit Michael's website at .
If you are a Signature Member and would like to be a Featured Artist, just send a short write-up about yourself with 4 to 5 jpeg medium-resolution files of your work to and you will be in the queue to be featured. Just type "Featured Artist" as the subject line.
NEXT MEMBERS MEETING - July10th with Karen Margulis
"Queen Anne's Lace" by Karen Margulis
The next MPS General Membership meeting will be held on Zoom, Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 10 a.m. After a short business meeting, we will feature a two-hour demo by the talented and distinguished artist, Karen Margulis. Coastal scenes and east coast green will be addressed, as well as elements from “Principles of Design,” found as a listing on our website here. There will be time for questions and comments from our audience during Karen’s demonstration.
Note: This will be our last General Membership meeting on Zoom of the year. The next meeting will be in-person on Oct. 16th at the Gary J Arthur Community Center.
3-Day Plein Air/Studio Workshop with Tara Will
October 13, 14 and 15, 2021
This will be our first in-person workshop and held at the Columbia Art Center; however much of the workshop will be outdoors painting plein air. Cost: $300. There will be a limit of 15 students. Look for a registration e-mailed later in the year. Please check out Tara's amazing point of view at
Christine Swann held an informative 2-Day Online Portrait Workshop Wednesday, April 21 and Friday, April 23, 2021. On Saturday, April 24, Christine came back on Zoom with a demo for our virtual MPS Spring Membership Meeting.
Christine painted instructive portraits while participants worked along with her. She provided us with two models to work from, a woman the first day and a man on the second. A lot of attention was paid to her theory of light and how light hits objects like the head and contours of the face.
We began by roughly sketching the head, dividing the face into thirds—hairline to top of brows, top of brows to bottom of nose, bottom of nose to bottom of chin. Finding relationships between the thirds and carefully looking at and rendering the features was our first task. She feels it is important to include the eyelid when drawing the eye. If you can't see it, find another view.
Christine works in many layers, refining shapes, correcting values and glazing colors on top of each other. She strives to create a three dimensional sculptural effect on a two dimensional format. The following is an excerpt of the portrait demonstration from our General Members Meeting on Saturday via Zoom.
The first stage was adding yellow pastel pencils to all shapes found in the light. Light travels in straight lines and cannot curve around objects
Second and third stages were focused on finding reflected light and softening the yellow stage. She played with unusual color choices with a similar value.
Fourth stage refined shadows and corrected darks. Back ground was addressed. The last stage added final "beautiful marks" with emphasis on the eyes.
We also learned Christine's 4 categories of pastels: Gliders, Builders, Blenders and Burners. Gliders like Great American, Unison and Roche, are used on top layers and keep their integrity. Glazing is successful with Builders like Girault and Mount Vision. Blenders like Sennelier, Terry Ludwig and Schmincke should not be used to blend on top other than laying down clean decisive marks. Burners are low powered pastels like Rembrandt and Richeson. They "burn" up areas of the painting that are not that important. Learn more about Christine Swann by visiting .
Laura Pollak held a lively 1-day virtual workshop on “Abstracting the Environment,” June 5, 2021
by Helen Wood
We were disappointed when Laura Pollak’s February, MPS mini-workshop on abstracting was cancelled due to low enrollment. So, it was great news when she agreed to hold a one-day Zoom workshop, June 5th.The fast-paced and fun workshop was filled with informative exercises on previously prepared, small (6”x8”) panels. Laura graciously stayed on the call afterwards to comment on our individual works.
Here is a series of images from the workshop, based on Laura’s above reference photo of Spring Azaleas, illustrating stages of abstraction. All MPS members can view her demo from our February MPS Members Meeting on at on YOUTUBE. And of course, please remember that such videos should not be further distributed as a courtesy to the presenting artist.
If you are interested in attending one of her future workshops, contact Laura directly at
Start preparing your entries for the upcoming biennial MPS National Juried Exhibition, Shades of Pastel (SOP) 2022.
May 7–July 2, 2022
It will be juried by Nancie King Mertz and the venue will again be the beautiful Mansion at Strathmore in Rockville, MD.
Other dates of note so far:
May 1—Drop off
May 15—Reception, Nancy King-Mertz demo, 11:00 a.m., Awards, 1:30 p.m.
We will need multiple volunteers to help with advertising and raising sponsors. Contact us to volunteer at
Joanne Westerman
Wanda Dehan
Currently, Maryland Pastel Society has 178 members, which breaks down to 94 Signature Members and 84 Artist Members.
Betsy Kellum will begin teaching ongoing weekly classes beginning May 6 in Richmond VA. Painters can work in pastel and/or oil. If any MPS members live in the Richmond area, please contact her if you are interested. Reach Betsy at
"Thoughts of Elsewhere" by Hope Hanes who will present an Artists in Action demonstration Sunday, July 11, 2-4PM, at 868 Estate Vineyards in Hillsboro, VA. This is in conjunction with the Wanderlust exhibit on view at the vineyard through August 1. Hope has a total of thirteen paintings included in this small group show (five of them have already gone to their new homes).
Deborah Wolfe just finished this piece in a 2-day workshop given by Jean Hirons. "It was challenging and informative."
Susan Klinger recently was awarded the Pastel Society of America Award for her pastel, "Suburban Sunrise" in the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Open Juried Exhibition. The show was held at the Salmagundi Club in NYC.
Susan's pastel "Autumn's Last Stand" will be included in the Studio Auction of the American Artists Professional League. The auction will be held July 8—18, 2021 online. Preview: